Maintaining Tactical Skill Sets

 Core values, Warriors  Comments Off on Maintaining Tactical Skill Sets
Jun 142013
 

Skills and abilities whether tactical in nature or athletic, will diminish over time if not maintained. For many tactical operators or first responders, there is an intense learning curve during initial training and within the first few years of employment. Candidates and probationary first responders are repeatedly tested and sent to various courses to attain the necessary skills of their profession. After passing a basic proficiency in a host of different skills,  emergency service/security/military personnel will suffer a drop in their capabilities if too much time passes before they are required to do more job related training. Budget and manpower needs are often the reasons why agencies don’t consistently send their personnel for training. Sometimes it is up to the individual to seek out training so they are optimally prepared to handle the hazards of their profession. For the armed law enforcement or security professional here is my list for the most important skill sets to maintain:

1. Firearm training- though the percentage is very low for security or police personnel to fire their weapons, the liability of carrying a weapon is extremely high, so practicing shooting skills at least once a month is essential. Every other month agencies or individuals  should incorporate a reality based drill which will test team members abilities to work under stress. (Generally, SWAT team members have the opportunity to shoot and train more frequently)

2. Self Defense Skills  – Basic moves that involve gross motor skills will be maintained longer than more intricate and technical moves. Self defense skills should be evaluated every 3-4 months but the tactical operator should train once a week in close quarter combat.

3. Fitness- physical fitness demands may vary profession to profession but the first responder/tactical operator should prepare themselves physically as if a “worst case scenario” is a routine occurrence. The fitness lifestyle is a daily pursuit so one must make time to ensure that he or she is physically able to meet any challenge.

Training on the Go

 Fitness, Fitness Gear  Comments Off on Training on the Go
Jan 312013
 

Many people have professions where they live out of a suitcase; salespeople, pilots, security contractors, etc. All of those hours on the road, in a plane, or at meetings – being sedentary can add up. Here are 5 tips to follow to ensure that your fitness levels don’t drop off:

1. Prior to embarking on a trip, identify  the exercise facilities at the hotel where you are staying. If there is no fitness center at your destination, identify where the nearest gyms are located. Make sure to call the gyms to see how much it costs to train for the day or week.

2. No hotel gym, no nearby gym, what next? If the fitness facilities are nowhere to be found, look for outdoor parks or schoolyards. Everyone has the ability to walk, jog, or run. Weather permitting, find a place and start running. Many parks have fixed exercise equipment and space that are good for pull-ups, push-ups, hanging crunches, dips.

3.  Take the stairs at the hotel. If you are one or two flights up from the ground level; take the stairs. Avoid the escalators, power yourself up and down the stairs.

4.  Stuck in a hotel room – what to do? Push-ups in all of their varieties, crunches, reverse crunches, and planks – to name just a few exercises. Bathroom floors are generally slick so you can perform the following: a) stand with one leg on a hand towel on the floor b) slide your leg backwards as your body descends towards the ground c) engaging the muscles of your other leg, slide the leg on the towel back to the starting point. This exercise will work quadriceps, hamstrings, glutes and core muscles. Do about 10-fifteen repetitions each leg for 2-3 sets. You can also slide your legs laterally to work on adductor and abductor strength.

5. Bring your own equipment. Jump ropes, push-up handles, and a TRX kit are easy to take and affix anywhere. With the TRX you will need access to a crossbeam of some sort or a tree. For more information on a TRX kit, click on the banner to the right or the link below:

http://www.trxtraining.com/products/trx-force-kit-tactical?utm_medium=affiliate&utm_source=cj

Holiday Shopping Fitness

 Fitness Gear  Comments Off on Holiday Shopping Fitness
Oct 242012
 

Now is the time for holiday planning because once Thanksgiving comes around, the gloves come off and it is a free for all for the latest and greatest products, clothes, and toys. Am I talking about a shopping list, NOOOO! I am talking about preparing your body to be in prime physical condition to withstand the long lines at stores, the pushing, the shoving, and the running to the nearest open cashier. Every year we hear on the news about how people get trampled or beat up as the doors open for business at your favorite store. If you are a Cyber Monday type of person, be prepared to see the holidays come and go while you are still waiting for your gift to be shipped due to a backlog in ordering. Survival of the fittest is the name of the game.

The TRX Tactical Trainer offers a great solution to help you get fit for the holidays.

 

Check out the new TRX FORCE Kit Tactical: New Innovative Workout Program | Lighter | Enhanced Durability

Now this is just upsetting

 Core values  Comments Off on Now this is just upsetting
Oct 022012
 

As a subject matter expert in protective operations, it just boils my blood when I see security officers, especially armed security officers overweight and essentially unfit for the tasks at hand. Members of a popular gym chain were recently car jacked at the gym’s parking lot; the car jackers were caught by police shortly after the crime. The gym in response to the carjacking hired armed security to act as a deterrent against future carjackings or other parking lot related crime. On the surface, this is not a bad response to a violent crime, however what the gym management failed to understand was how to access and evaluate security firms and their officers.

Except for one individual who seemed capable of responding to an armed attack, the rest of the security team, smoked on duty, leaned against the gym building, lacked good communication skills, were all dressed in black BDUs and for the most part were overweight. The gym management hired the “lowest bidder” in this case without truly assessing if this security firm would lower their risk of another crime while acting as an extended customer service arm of the club. The danger that the security firm in question presents is related to security liability. Had another armed attack occurred, the overweight,smoking security officer would then be required to assess the situation, communicate the danger, RUN to confront the assailant, and potentially deploy his weapon, maybe fire it. How many of you want to trust your life to an out of shape armed person. When the heart rate elevates, fine motors skills like shooting accurately depreciate.

If selection of a security force is needed, the hiring decision makers have to ensure that the officers are equipped to handle a “worst case scenario”. Too often unarmed and armed security are hired as a psychologically deterrent, however when an actually emergency occurs in many cases these officers lack the proper training and physical fitness to respond as needed.

 

 

Running and Shooting

 Core values  Comments Off on Running and Shooting
Sep 032012
 

Many people think of a gun as some great equalizer where the user  can be an old grandma, who simply has to aim and pull the trigger to deter the threat from a much bigger and younger attacker. In California, which has some of the strictest gun laws, ironically citizens upon attending a safety course, and being “vetted” by a criminal check, can purchase a hand gun without demonstrating their ability to effectively hit their targets on a range. The common held belief that deploying a weapon is about pointing and shooting like it is a camera, is quite erroneous. Even though countless people do train on ranges shooting paper targets honing their marksmanship skills across the USA, very few people actually posses the speed, agility, and quickness to deploy their weapons in real life situations.

In a real life or death situation such as a home invasion, the gun owner has to first assess the threat, run to where his or her gun is,  unlock it, arm it, acquire the position of the bad guys, position him or herself between the criminals and protected family members and eliminate the threats with accurate shots all within a minute or less while most likely having an extremely high heart rate.

If you were paying attention, the operative words were ” extremely high heart rate”. When the heart rate spikes, the fine motor skills such as shooting diminish. All of the hours spent on a gun range are useless unless an individual practices operating their firearm under duress. Obviously one can’t fire off rounds in their own home, but what one can do is practice all of the steps prior to discharging his or her weapon. The neuromuscular and anaerobic conditioning of reality based drills and fitness training will benefit the gun owner if a life threatening criminal attack shall occur.

Even police officers are not immune to overly relying on static training at the gun range when their time should be better spent mimicking the physical demands of responding to a crime. Recently, the NYPD responded to a shooting outside the Empire State Building, many bystanders were shot by police officers who lost their accuracy after running to the scene.

If gun owners had to pass a physical fitness test, qualify at the range under realistic shooting scenarios, and attend a course on pre-attack indicators, prior to purchasing a firearm, the incidents of wrongful deaths would surely plummet.

Fitness saves lives!

 

Physical Fitness vs Combat Fitness

 Core values  Comments Off on Physical Fitness vs Combat Fitness
Aug 072012
 

We often judge physical fitness by how much weight someone can lift, how fast or long someone can run, or by their physique. Achieving supreme physical fitness should be a goal for every human to improve their quality of life. For a unique and small population, supreme combat fitness is the goal. Being in good shape does help in achieving a high level of combat fitness, but with combat fitness there are so many physical and mental elements one has to concentrate on that go “beyond the gym”.

Similar to football players that have to be in “hitting shape” before their season gets underway, tactical engagements require one to be able to withstand unbelievable rigors in the course of their jobs.

Here a some facets of combat fitness that need to be mastered to improve performance in the field:

1. Speed, Agility, and Quickness (SAQ) are the cornerstones of athletics; in a military/emergency environment, the combatant or first responder has to possess SAQ skills while being loaded down with battle gear or a duty belt.

2. Weather and Environmental factors – For those that work in a police/fire/EMS function chances are that you are familiar with your regional weather patterns. The challenges to overcome in the performance of your jobs will have to do with daytime vs nighttime operations, rain, snow, etc. Being able to overcome environmental challenges is key for performance on the job. For military and elite security or investigative agents, you maybe dispatched globally at a moment’s notice; so the ability to adapt to severe changes in climate and altitude are essential. Multiple repetitions of heavy bench presses won’t help you overcome an adjustment in altitude but improved cardiovascular fitness will help you adapt easier to the challenges put on your nervous system.

3. Long shifts/little relief/lack of sleep – the trifecta of poor performance. Overcoming the aforementioned obstacles is essential to performing at one’s best. The allies in overcoming the realities of tactical professions are rest and nutrition. Sometimes caffeine is not the answer but foods and supplements that provide long lasting energy and have stress busting nutrients. One such supplement that I have found to be a great weapon in reducing stress is Ionix Supreme, manufactured by Isagenix, is a formula comprised of anti-oxidants, adaptagens, and minerals that improve stress levels and energizes the body.

For more information on Ionix Supreme click here.

Mental Strength

 Core values  Comments Off on Mental Strength
Jul 112012
 

Mental Strength is a difference maker that often determines success or failure. One can have all of the physical tools and intelligence in the world, but does he or she have the will power and internal fortitude to push on when the going gets tough. In challenging moments when we are out of our comfort zones, our mind starts to play tricks on us, and suddenly we find ourselves rationalizing why it is better to quit the task at hand and focus our efforts elsewhere.

Many successful people have that ability to “see things through”. Mental strength is what drives people to overcome their fears, the unknown, danger, and to excel on the playing field and in training sessions. Mental strength can be developed out of failure itself. So what if you failed at something, do you have the mental strength to continue on and try again?

The Olympics are around the corner. There are a number of athletes that failed to make their respective Olympic squads in years past but they possessed the mental strength to dedicate four more years of training and competing to earn a spot this year.

Stay mentally strong my friends.

 Posted by at 10:01 am

Fitness Challenges

 Core values  Comments Off on Fitness Challenges
Jun 222012
 

When I say fitness challenges, what I really mean are challenges to being fit. Let’s take a look at just a handful of obstacles “excuses” that inhibit people from reaching their fitness goals.

1. Time– “I don’t have the time”. Okay so there are 168 hours in a week. Let’s dedicate 56 hours for sleeping, and 40 for working per week. That leaves us with 72 hours a week to fit in exercise. Very doable.

2. “Gyms are too expensive”. Working out in a gym has many benefits but there are essentially hundreds of exercises that one can do in their home in addition to running, biking, and hiking.

3. “I’m t00 {enter self defeating belief here}”. Sometimes people are their own worst enemies and will sabotage their own success. Stay positive or find someone that can help you discover the champion within you.

4. Eating unhealthy. Consuming bad nutrition may stem from self destructive behavior. Even for people that exercise, sometimes there is a misconception as to how much they really exerted in terms of energy. Often people belief that they worked harder than they really did and feel that they can no eat what ever they want without any consequences. Track your calorie expenditures and consumption to get the most out of the time that you are exercising.

 

 Posted by at 4:16 pm

Battle Ready

 Core values, Fitness  Comments Off on Battle Ready
Jun 052012
 

Planning for a physical engagement requires much from your body and mind. Here are a few pointers for getting battle ready for a host of real life or sports related challenges:

1. Train your body for the specific physical demands of your event or engagement. If you are trying to pass a military, police, or fire department physical entrance test like an obstacle course, running eight miles won’t help you improve your anaerobic strength capacity or speed, agility and quickness, but progressively intense total body resistance and reactive training will help you get the results you need. Conversely, spending a majority of your physical training time lifting heavy weights won’t help you improve your time in endurance sports. It is OK to cross train in other sports and incorporate various levels of physical intensity, but keep your main focus on preparing your body for the specific demands it will face.

2. Situational Awareness. Doesn’t matter if you are in a field of play or field of fire, mental acuity is paramount for success. Having strong internal discipline and razor sharp focus will only enhance your performance. Wayne Gretzky understood the importance of situational awareness in the hockey rink; he attributed his success for knowing, “where the puck was going to be.”

3. Tapering the intensity before a big event. Going all out in training is good, just make sure it is not days before your body and mind will be put to the test. The central nervous system (CNS) regulates the body’s functions, if you don’t give the CNS enough time to recover from the accumulated physical and mental stress, you will not be at your best when you need it most.

Use these tips in preparing for your next sporting event or physical fitness test and be battle ready.

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